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The Punch Topic


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#1 bleudauvergne

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:03 PM

I have made these friends, you see. They had us over for dinner, and on the terrace, they brought out these plastic 1.5 liter soda bottles, not very pretty, mind you, just brimming with murcky stuff. They asked if we'd like a "punch". His parents are from the isle of Reunion. Apparently each time that a distant aunt or uncle is planning to come and visit, they send ahead a large package containing several varieties of home made "punch" and necessary foodstuffs for surviving here in France. And this year, they sent the package, and then changed their travel plans so they were stocked up with several varieties. He says that the secret is a slowly caramelized raw sugar syrup, made at home. This is combined with fruit of various kinds, macerated in rum of the isle for months and months, and it keeps forever. We tried lychee (they are second or third generation Hong Kong immigrants to Reunion), pineapple, and other flavors. Lychee was really incredibly amazing. Pineapple was just heavenly, and I cannot remember what the other flavors were although I believe we did sample several others. My husband does not remember either. This is the nectar of the Gods! The only punch I ever knew was a kind of last minute thing involving lemons limes and sugar syrup. No long term maceration. Is this something truly worth investigating. Can anyone provide insight as I embark on my journey into the world of "punch"?

Also, does long term maceration and things like sugar added add to the alcohol content of this lovely aperetif? We were struck first off by the most agreable way it went down, then we realized that it was much more potent that we first thought. Thanks for any input you may provide.

-Lucy

edited to fix i before e except after c.

Edited by bleudauvergne, 26 February 2004 - 12:06 PM.


#2 BettyK

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 02:16 PM

Hi Bleudauvergne,

I've had the opportunity to sample quite a few "rhums arrangés" as they call it in Reunion Island.
Good stuff and very potent indeed. Their rum is 42% which could explain a lot of things. :laugh:

I've never made "rhums arrangés" myself but I don't think it's rocket science. From what my cousins told me they use a few spices such as cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, coffee beans. Of course, there are probably as many recipes as the inhabitants of Reunion Island. Here's a
link to some recipes. Since you live in France, I assume you shouldn't have any problem with the language?

Have fun!

Edit: Forgot to mention that their rum is called "rhum charette". "Charette" means cart. The label has a cart full of sugar cane drawn by an ox. That's how they used to transport the sugar cane to the factory way back then.

Edited by BettyK, 06 March 2004 - 02:48 PM.


#3 gus_tatory

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 05:57 PM

...I've never made "rhums arrangés" myself but I don't think it's rocket science. From what my cousins told me they use a few spices such as cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, coffee beans. Of course, there are probably as many recipes as the inhabitants of Reunion Island...

i've had "rhums arranges" by a friend who actually went to L'ile de la Reunion. it was very sweet, aromatic, and very potent. :blink:
the funniest thing though is the French pronunciation of "punch" = "pawnssh". :biggrin:
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#4 bleudauvergne

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:13 AM

Great Site! A vanilla bean seems like a great idea. The recipes on the wesite say to let it macerate for at least 3 months. This is a lot longer than the vin d'orange, which only macerates 1 month. I better get started now in order to be able to enjoy this during the summer!

-Lucy

#5 doggirl

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 12:47 PM

I'm throwing a party for mom's 60th b-day this July. I was hoping to serve a delicious summery punch to start the night off, before dinner is served. Any standout recipes? Old time favorites? I'm looking for something that tastes great, but won't be TOO boozy to tempt mom's pals. I hope you can help!!
thanks so much!

#6 jackal10

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:30 PM

Professor Saintsbury (Notes on a Cellar Book, 1920 advises

3 parts rum
2 parts brandy
1 part lemon juice
6 parts hot water
Sugar to taste

The old rhyme goes

1 of sour (lemon juice)
2 of sweet (sugar syrup)
3 of strong (rum)
4 of weak (water or soda)

#7 ned

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:49 PM

Jamaican Rum Punch

Another take on the rhyme

1 of sour (fresh lime juice)
2 of sweet (Kelly strawberry syrup, simple syrup, dash of grenadine)
3 of strong (Appleton's, Sangster's, or Overproof)
4 of weak (water and crushed ice)

From Robb Walsh's "Traveling Jamaica With Knife Fork and Spoon."

Edited by ned, 17 May 2004 - 05:51 PM.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

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#8 JAZ

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 08:41 AM

My Pomeranian cocktail works well in large batches. I served it in pitchers for my class, but you could mix it in a punchbowl as well.

For a large batch:

1 liter white rum
1 450-ml bottle pomegranate juice
1 cup triple sec
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups water

(for a different sized batch, just remember: two parts rum, one part pomegranate juice, 1/2 part each lemon juice and triple sec, and 1/4 part grapefruit juice. Then add water or soda to equal about 1/4 of the total volume of the other ingredients.)

Mix and chill thoroughly.

You could use club soda instead of the water if you wanted something carbonated.

#9 MiguelCardoso

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 01:48 AM

First of all, doggirl, a predated happy birthday for your Mom from another July-born survivor!

Given the briefing, have you considered a lovely sangria - or "sangaree" in old mixological parlance? Real Spanish and Portuguese versions contain a fair amount of hard liquor, apart from the wine, and I think they're ideal for the Summer.

Real sangrias do not contain carbonated sodas but, for those who wish to keep their alcohol content down (i.e. children!), filling them up in a highball glass with 7-up or Orangina and lots of ice is still absolutely delicious: think of it as a proper "wine cooler".

The trick of sangrias - whether Portuguese or Spanish - is fermentation. This means you must prepare it at least 24 hours beforehand, though it does get even better 48 or even 72 hours later.

I'm Portuguese so I'll give you the Portuguese recipe, but the (various) Spanish recipes are all delicious.

For red sangria, you use red wine and red fruits. For white sangria (which I prefer in the summer), you use white wine and non-red fruits: peaches, apples, apricots, pineapple. But hey, it's absolutely flexible. Both red and white need a lot of oranges, lemons and lime. But, after that, it's up to you.

The secret: you leave the wine to ferment in a lot of fruit and castor sugar, to which you've added generous amounts of cognac, fruit-based dry liqueurs (Cointreau is essential), dry gin and - if you like it - some anise liqueur, such as Marie Brizard - not Pernod. Leave it for 24 hours - peels and all.

After that, you have your base. You're now free to add fresh fruits and whatever you think the sangria needs - it could be a little cinnamon, a lot of mint, cucumber...

This works for red or white. But here's the Portuguese "sangria branca" recipe, for a big three-litre jug:

- 2 bottles of very good, young (this means 2003 vintage), dry white wine. Sancerre is ideal, Muscadet just as good. Any good white wine will do. (A lot of people think that punches and sangarees are a good opportunity of using inferior wines and booze - big mistake!);

- A quarter-bottle of cognac;

- A quarter-bottle of Cointreau or Grand Marnier;

- A quarter-bottle of decent dry London gin (Gordon's is the lower limit);

- A wine-glass of Southern Comfort;

- A wine-glass of Calvados, good apple shnapps or, best of all, Swiss or French pear-based eau-de-vie;

- 2 tbs of anis (I hate aniseed but it works, don't ask me why):

- Half-pound of white sugar;

- Three fresh peaches, cut up into slices;

- Two sharp green apples, eg. Granny Smith's, cut up:

- A dozen fresh red cherries, stoned and squashed;

- A dozen strawberries;

- Half a pineapple, cut into cubes.


Mash all the fruit and sugar with a pestle, adding the liquid little by little. Hey, you can also be careless and put it all in together as there won't be much difference.

Leave the jug in a warm place, covered with a clean napkin, for at least 24 hours.


An hour before the time comes to serve it, divide the sangria into two 2-litre jugs (or a big punch bowl) and add:

- Three whole oranges, cut into slices (don't squeeze the juice);

- Two whole lemons - same thing;

- Two whole limes - same thing.

- A lot (and I mean a lot!) of fresh mint, just the leaves, no stalks.


To serve, you should have lots of ice and highball glasses. For those who want it neat, just lots of ice and fill it up. For those who prefer mixers (7-up, Orangina, cream soda, Schweppes bitter lemon, even ginger ale), choose the proportions accordingly.

The truth is that the initial sangria base is so delicious that it's always good whatever you do.

Never put ice or mixers into the mother lode! After the party, there will be a lot left and it'll just get better and better, fermenting and enclosing all the fruity flavours with the fruity alcohols.

Finally, any fruit will do, as long as it's very fresh. Apart from the gin (I've tried vodka three or four times but it didn't work, though I suspect infused vodkas would be kick-ass), what you have, essentially, is fruit-based wine and fruit-based eaux-de-vie, mixed with sugar and fruits. That's why it's infallible!

Hope you try all the suggested punches before July and choose the one you think your mother will like most. There's still a while to go before July but all the necessary fruits (think cherries too!) are approaching their best.

Good luck!

#10 Heikki

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 03:31 AM

Miguel, your sangria recipe sounds very good. Could you clarify a little how much is the quarter, as in a quarter-bottle? Also, wine-glass is sometimes 4 ounces. Is that the wine glass size you are thinking?

Sangria is mostly known in this country from the trips people make to Iberian countries and the Canary islands, so there is very little first hand knowledge about how to make it as opposed to just buying something and then drinking it. Also, if you buy Cointreau in Finland it is only available in 0.35 liter bottles. This makes me think that a quarter of a 0.35L bottle is not what you had in mind :)

[Edited to remove the quoting]

Thanks,
Heikki Vatiainen

Edited by Heikki, 20 May 2004 - 03:32 AM.


#11 MiguelCardoso

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 06:05 AM

Heikki: I'm glad it caught your interest. Indeed the sangria you get in cartons and bottles - and 99% of what they serve in restaurants nowadays - is little more than wine and lemonade with some citrus juices and cheap brandy.

A quarter bottle would be about half a 0.35 litre bottle. A wine glass would be nearer 3 ounces. But, like all cocktails, you should rebalance the final flavour according to taste.

I'm sorry I was imprecise. Enjoy!

Miguel

#12 Heikki

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 01:46 PM

Indeed the sangria you get in cartons and bottles - and 99% of what they serve in restaurants nowadays - is little more than wine and lemonade with some citrus juices and cheap brandy.


I agree. That is the reason I was not interested in sangria drinks until I started broadening my knowledge in drinks. Quite soon it became clear that sangria is a worthy family of drinks and not just some concoction of red wine (no white wine, always read and cheap) and something sweet topped with fruit.

Thanks for clarifying the measures. Now it is easy to start trying and tuning.

Thanks!
Heikki Vatiainen

#13 bostonapothecary

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 08:33 PM

i thought i'd hijack and revive this thread on punch. i've made long term macerated punches like the one described in the first post but i've also started making more "fresher" styles because lately i've been entertaining lots of people at the same time and have been looking for an easy to put together low maintenance collective experience...

the holidays are upon us... what are people making?

my latest was the "french top punch" for a bunch of back of the house industry people...

375 ml fernet branca
375 ml chambord
375 ml lemon juice
750 - 1500 ml brut sparkling wine
i chilled all the booze and juice in the fridge to start and then use chunks of ice to maintain the chill...

this went over really well with its fernet fanatical audience.
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#14 Fat Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 04:50 AM

moderator's note: merged topic -- ca

Our son's nursery school is having a big casino-night event in February as a fundraiser and one of the things they want to do is have a custom-designed cocktail. Or I suppose it could be a classic cocktail repurposed.

There are two components here: the cocktail and the name.

The cocktail has got to be something fairly straightforward that can be, most likely, batched and mixed by whatever bartenders happen to be sent over by whatever catering service (I imagine we're looking at 200-300 cocktails for the evening). It should utilize off-the-shelf, commonly available ingredients. Maybe there could be one specialized ingredient that I could acquire a bunch of and contribute to the mix. It should be a crowd pleaser that non-cocktailians will find accessible. And, while this is not typically a concern outside the walls of PDT, it needs to be kosher (no bacon-, shrimp- or cheeseburger-based beverages).

In terms of the name, the name of the school is Habonim (ha-bow-neem, which I believe means "builders"), and it would be great to have a better name than "The Habonini" or "The Habotini." But Habonini or Habotini will do in a pinch.

Any thoughts on how to approach this project?

Edited by chrisamirault, 28 November 2008 - 10:50 AM.

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#15 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:26 AM

Boy, this is up my alley.

I'd make a straightforward punch along the lines of Wondrich's Brandy Punch from the Esquire database and perhaps doll it up a bit with some fall spices.

And, for names, I definitely think that it should be the Hab the Builder Punch.
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#16 Fat Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:31 AM

How much do you think that would suffer from being made with crap bar orange juice from concentrate? I figure that's what we're looking at if any fruit juices are utilized.

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#17 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:36 AM

Mightily. But fresh OJ could be the one good ingredient here and you could probably get away with the rest being just ok.

ET clarify -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault, 29 October 2008 - 06:07 AM.

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#18 Fat Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:47 AM

Maybe I could provide fresh OJ and a couple of those soccer-ball-size ice spheres for the punch bowls (how do you make them?). I was at a dinner party the other night and that sphere lasted all night with no appreciable shrinkage -- you could have crashed the Titanic into that thing.

Brilliant name, by the way.

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#19 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:54 AM

Would be nice if the drink was "built" in the glass...

#20 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:07 AM

Maybe I could provide fresh OJ and a couple of those soccer-ball-size ice spheres for the punch bowls (how do you make them?).

View Post


Freeze water in two hemispherical bowls. Pour a little hot water across the surface of one and immediately lay the other directly atop it, then refreeze a bit. When you're ready, remove the ice from the bowls with a little hot water on each.
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#21 slkinsey

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:57 AM

Steven, something like that Regent's Punch I made the other night would go down pretty easily. It's delicious, not particularly challenging to even the most finicky drinker, and you can tell your friends on the PTA that you're giving them a drink that is actually on the cutting edge of mixology. Believe me, a year from now, being able to say you were on on the Punch trend and had offered the famous Regent's Punch to your nursery school "way before it was cool to you people" will confer serious bragging rights.
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#22 Fat Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:07 AM

What would be a link to a reliable recipe?

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#23 slkinsey

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:29 AM

Regent's Punch
(This is my recipe for George IV's favorite tipple, triangulated from two different recipes of the period.)

Using a vegetable peeler, peel two lemons, two small oranges and, if possible, one Seville orange (these are difficult to find and their season is extremely short; try www.citrusranch.com), avoiding as much as possible of the white pith.

Juice the lemons and the oranges, straining out the pulp.

In a large, sturdy bowl, muddle the peels with four ounces Demerara sugar until the sugar becomes impregnated with the citrus oils.

Make a pint of green tea (using two tea-bags or two teaspoons of loose tea). While this is still hot, pour it into the bowl with the peels, first removing the tea bags or straining out the loose tea.

Add the citrus juices, along with eight ounces VSOP cognac, two ounces dark, heavy rum (I like Inner Circle, Coruba or Gosling’s), and—here’s the problem—two ounces Batavia arrack. [van Oosten is the brand.]

Then add two ounces of pineapple syrup, which you have cleverly prepared the day before by cubing a ripe pineapple and soaking it overnight in a simple syrup which you made by bringing two parts Demerara or turbinado sugar and one part water to a simmer, stirring constantly, and letting it cool (use just enough to cover the pineapple and strain it through a fine sieve when you’re done; it’ll keep for a few days in the refrigerator).  [I have some pineapple syrup I can give you.]

Now add a large block of ice; you can order these from your local ice company, or make it yourself (follow [chrisamirault's] instructions, above).

Finally, after everything has sat for long enough to catch a chill, gently stir in one bottle of brut champagne or, if you're feeling flush, two. Your punch is completed. It should serve about eight people.


Edited by slkinsey, 29 October 2008 - 07:30 AM.

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#24 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:36 AM

I had considered some other punches but didn't think that they met the "off-the-shelf" and "fairly straightforward" criteria above. However, if you can recruit the kinder to muddle and mix, that could help out plenty.
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#25 slkinsey

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:51 AM

For something like the Regent's Punch, it would be relatively easy (and inexpensive) to make the "base" at home and bring it. This is to say, do the whole bit with peeling the citrus and muddling with sugar, making the green tea and pouring it over the peels and sugar, adding the pineapple syrup, adding the juice from the citrus, even adding the arrack. At this point, all the people at the venue would have to do is pour in the brandy and rum, pour in the punch base, and add the champagne.
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#26 Fat Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:53 AM

The trouble is that any prepared items to be consumed at the venue will have to be prepared in the venue's kosher kitchen that afternoon. And I doubt I can claim much if any space there -- it's really small. I might be able to do ice soccer balls at home but probably not syrups and such.

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#27 slkinsey

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 08:12 AM

Your kosher kitchen at home isn't good enough for them?
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#28 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:10 AM

So since the Regent's Punch came up I thought I might ask a few questions since I was thinking about making a batch this Friday for a little get-together we're having. I had seen this recipe quoted here before but couldn't remember on what thread so I had been working off the one from Killer Cocktails, which differs only in a few minor details. So I was wondering about the following points of the recipe and would appreciate any pointers from Mr. Kinsey, Mr. Wondrich, or anyone else who has made this.

How clutch is the inclusion of seville oranges? I was going to just use all Valencias but is it still worth proceeding this way? I've never had a seville but my image of them suggests they would supply some additional acid and bitterness from the peel. Could this be compensated for by adding more lemon and/or a spoon of orange bitters, or is it even necessary?

The KC recipe calls for Wray & Nephew Rum in place of the then-unavailable Batavia Arrack. In such a small quantity is there a marked difference? I have some Arrack brought back by a travelling friend, but of course not knowing when I could get more I'd prefer to use the readily available WNOP. If it makes a significant difference to the end result I'll use the Arrack though of course, why have it if you're not going to use it?

How much champagne (or sparkling wine in my case) do you recommend? The recipe above suggests 1-2 bottles, which would be 2-4 bottles in the larger KC recipe. Is more really more here, or is just 'sportier'? I would assume that more wine would help dry out what appears to be a slightly sweet recipe (although I imagine punch in a bowl needs to be sweeter than individual drinks). Any thoughts on quantity here, and while we're at I assume inexpensive Spanish Cava or French Cremant will do fine here as it normally does for my purposes, any that you would avoid or will Cristalino suffice?

Thanks in advance, this is only my second or third attempt at large-bowl punch making, and I definitely want to minimize the trial and error with the expense involved.

-Andy
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#29 JAZ

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:35 AM

How much do you think that would suffer from being made with crap bar orange juice from concentrate? I figure that's what we're looking at if any fruit juices are utilized.

View Post

Some of the pasteurized, not-from-concentrate juices are decent in cocktails. One thing about citrus juice and club soda, though -- make sure you strain the pulp out of the juice (or buy the kind without pulp, if you're buying it), because when you pour in the club soda, the bubbles will attract all the pulp and bring it to the surface in a nasty looking raft.

#30 Peter the eater

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:39 AM

Boy, this is up my alley.

That was my first thought too!
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